The energy consumed by households for space heating and cooling, water heating, cooking and running appliances is a major component of national final energy use. Along with private transport, it is the only energy use (and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions) directly under householders' control. Accordingly, many researchers have examined ways of reducing household energy use, using either monetary or non-monetary measures. We find that although case studies suggest only a limited role for energy pricing, our comparative study of domestic energy use by different nations suggests otherwise. Energy researchers have also examined various social science approaches, but again their effectiveness in case studies is limited. We argue, however, that householders, taking their cue from political leaders, do not presently take climate change very seriously. This attitude could well change over the next decade or so, and with it the scope for non-monetary approaches to energy and thus carbon reductions.
- Climate change
- energy pricing
- household energy conservation
- non-monetary incentives
- pro-environmental behavior